Over the last 4 years of 3D printing, seeing the ins and outs of this startup industry, it becomes obvious that we need a trade organization.
I have spoken with multiple competitors over the last year or so and it seems to be a common thread that we all saw gaps in the manufacturing industry. We then capitalized on those gaps and filled in the holes that traditional manufacturing couldn’t. We are the ones who rapidly prototype, manufacture and sell parts. We use all types of CAD, machinery and ingenuity to get our items to market.
We need something in place to represent us as an industry of Makers. Many of us are no longer hobbyist but full time Machinists / Makers in addition to our 9 to 5 jobs (if we have managed to stay sane enough to hold one). We don’t fit into the normal mold because we are also business men and women in addition to being Makers. Each of us working out of small shops, garages, or spare bedrooms contributes to Americas manufacturing in a way that can’t be accounted for.
By organizing as a Trade Organization we could help educate the general public, local officials and fellow makers. To make my point in this, at what point does 3D printing cross from being a residential activity to a light industrial activity or does that even matter? How do we independently verify our parts are safe? What constitutes a safe practice? What engineering standards should we be using? How do we maintain that easy entry point so we continuously fill our ranks with Makers from all walks of life, regardless of their background. Not all engineering is done with a degree, most of it is done with experience.
If you are interested shoot me an email at:
As things start to show up I will cross post any documents.